The Truth About the 5 Second Rule

The Truth About the 5 Second Rule

Coborn's Blog: The Kitchen Detective
Kim

Hi Everyone! My topic for today’s blog is the “5 Second Rule”. I think at some point in time we all have either given into the 5 second rule and/or at least contemplated it, right?  I, myself, can say that is true. Saying to myself… “Really, what could possibly be wrong with this, it was only on the floor for a second?!?!”  Well, let me tell you, there are various organisms including some fairly harmful bacteria that reside in the soil:  Listeria, Salmonella, E.coli… just to name a few. Granted, not all bacteria residing in the soil are harmful, but the reality is we do not know where these harmful ones are lurking. They don’t glow, smell or leave any type of calling card that let you know where they are residing, so it is best to presume they may just be there!

Also, just thinking about all of the places our shoes take us each day, from either walking across the grass to pick up something blowing in the wind to walking through a park or down a trail where a dog needed to do it’s business or a bird flew overhead leaving nature’s duty in it’s path. This leaves the bottoms of our shoes a nice little harborage area for germs, in turn leaving some of these bugs behind on the floor as we walk through the cafeteria or into the restaurant or across our own floor at home. Some might say, “Well, I remove my shoes when I get home.” I think we all have experienced, 5 Second Rule5 Second Rulethough, even if we are committed to taking our shoes off in our homes, that our floors still get dirty. Either from dust, old food debris that may have fallen on the floor from previous meals and even dirt (because we cheat from time to time, don’t we? “I just need to run in quick and get my cell phone that I left on the counter!”)  …your secret is safe with me.

If the potential for some harmful microorganisms lurking on the floor doesn’t raise a cause for just throwing the food out, what about the thought of any physical object sticking to the food item. A piece of hair, a small pebble or that little dust bunny. Biting into these physical objects makes eating not very pleasurable either.

So the next time someone shouts, “5 Second Rule!” Think twice… Do you want to take the risk? Or would you rather pick it up, throw it out, wash your hands (of course) and go for another bite of something that hasn’t spent even a second on the floor!

Wishing you healthy and SAFE eating!

Kim
Coborn’s, Inc, Food Safety & Nutrition Manager, Registered Dietitian

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